This has long been a favorite quote that I have even posted here before. But to hear the author speak her words of inspiration is to receive it into our hearts and souls more directly. Enjoy and be blessed!!
This week on FB I saw a great little video of Maria Shriver describing what she received from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (yes, of the US Presidential Kennedys). She was talking about the great work her mother did to bring children with disabilities into their home and how the work eventually led to the beginning of the Special Olympics. The picture on the right is Eunice cheering on “her kids” as they competed and played. I never knew the origins of the Special Olympics and I was impressed to hear of the story. Maria went on to talk about something her mother used to tell her all that time that has stuck with her and encouraged her.
“You can, you must, you will! Now go do it!”
~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver
I was struck but the simplicity of the encouragement and even the enthusiasm of the “command”. That line was a gift to Maria that she never forgets. And now, it is a line that I shall not forget.
You see, I am in the middle of an awakening of a vision for work that I have been called to do in the world. The vision was given, without direction, about 15 years ago. The seed was planted and I knew it then, but had no idea yet what the vision really meant. Since then I’ve had confirmations and nudging dreams which have kept the vision alive, but quiet in my mind. And now, last week I had another vision – one that has urging and purpose and a picture. One that I can now wrap my head around. It’s too early to tell the world about it, but it has already begun to urge me to action. In a flash, a prayer was answered. In a moment, a purpose was set, and consequently a passion has been lit in my heart. In the days since, my mind has played the doubting game as to my ability to bring my vision to life. But I will not listen to my doubting mind. I will follow my heart to create my vision. It is the passionate heart that has created all good and wonderful things in this world. And that is why Eunice’s words struck me.
As we go into this weekend of celebrating Mother’s Day here in the US, I think of my mother the way Maria thinks of hers – with love and a positive gratefulness. I am thankful for so many things about my Mom. I am thankful that she had an open heart for a little raggedy girl in the orphanage. I am thankful that she persevered through the emotional baggage that came hand-in-hand with adopting me and that she was strong enough to raise me with love and integrity of her upbringing. I am thankful that she has given me the gift of believing that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to.
I am also thankful that I have been blessed to be a mother. My kids, Tony & Maria, are the joy of my heart. They are embarking on their journeys of adulthood as they are both engaged. Soon they will broaden my joy with families of their own. I am mindful that my role as mother is changing from disciplinarian and teacher to one of friend, confidante, and encourager. I am blessed and thankful that they are healthy and happy and on their way.
As a side note, this year, I am thankful that I have forgiven and released my birth mother. For that reason alone I nod my head in her direction in spirit to acknowledge that the life lesson is learned and I am whole again.
And I acknowledge and appreciate Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for adding a little bit more inspiration into my heart. To prod me into the conviction that I can … I must … and I will!
If you are a mother – may you have a loving and blessed Mother’s Day on Sunday. For all others – remember your Mom! Appreciate the good. Release the rest. And be blessed!
Today I want to share one of my favorite quotes/poems by Marianne Williamson. Her wisdom speaks to my soul every time I read this. It’s hanging by my desk so I can read it often.
Shine on my friends … and be blessed!
Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
“What you grow in the good times becomes your strength in the hard times.
Therefore, let us grow and let us share love, peace, charity, forgiveness, generosity, and hope.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller
I posted this quote on my bulletin board at work today. There are so many people who are seeing the hard times coming or already swirling around their lives right now. I wanted to remind us all that we have some control over our situation. Perhaps not in what happens but certainly in what we put in our lives to prepare us to react to and cope with those situations.
And when I stand in good times and others do not, I hope I am conscious enough, aware enough, and courageous enough to step out of my joy to lend them a hand, a shoulder, a word of encouragement, or even a dollar or two – whatever I have that can ease the trouble. It’s so easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t alone, especially in the tough times. But the worst thing we can do is forget that we aren’t alone in the good times. That is when we can really make a difference.
Be a light in the world, and be blessed!
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…
get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.
Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.
To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
~ Abraham Heschel
What a great quote this is – and an even greater philosophy on living! To truly be present to the miracle that life is may be the greatest gift of happiness we can give ourselves. Look around in your world today and seek for something to celebrate. Is it the smile in the face of a child that you longed to hold and love for so long? Is it the fabulous job that you wished and prepared for over years of learning and experience? Is it the health you have either by hard work or good choices? Is it simple pleasures like a lovely sunrise, I calm and relaxing dinner, a wish come true or warm bed to comfort you after a long and difficult day?
Whatever it is – big or little. Allow yourself to celebrate it. Find a great place to frolic and play. Dance when you are all by yourself, or better yet – be contagious and start a dance of joy in your family. Allow yourself to relish the abundant beauty that is your life. Get out the good china. Enjoy your favorite meal. Treat yourself to your favorite book or movie, bobble or bling. Write a thank you letter. Smile at a stranger. Pass you good fortune along in a random act of kindness.
You are spectacularly created. You are Divinely blessed. You are incredibly talented. CELEBRATE!!!
I celebrate YOU! Be blessed as you bless me too.
It’s true … the days are getting longer. As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.
And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too. But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.
I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.
I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.
All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.
Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!
This has been an unusually early spring for us. As I walk my dog Gracie I am delighted to notice the smells of the season. With the tulip trees, red buds, and forsythia blooming, the air smells like a freshly stocked floral store. Neighbors are cutting grass for the first time creating a backdrop of the sounds of warmth. The mere drinking in of the spring essence stirs renewal in my soul.
It is much the same way when we indulge our soul in self-examination and notice that the darkness and sadness have cleared a way. With the coming of spring and new life, let us blow away that which no longer serves us so we can create a fresh path for our year. Bloom and be blessed!
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24
I enjoy the sentiment of “everyone is Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day. It allows me to celebrate the very small drop of Irish heritage that flows through my mixed and varied blood. I am officially an American melting pot of various western European lineage. So for today, whether you are pure Irish, participating or enjoying parades and celebrations, or you know of leprechauns and shamrocks only from foreign lore, I wish you a happy day! As I enjoy the “wearing o’the green” I thought I’d share a little Irish culture and humor:
Irish Ballad – Danny Boy by Celtic Women:
Irish Jiggy Jig – Riverdance Final Performance (whew, them’s some fancy feet!):
Irish Drinking Song – Spontaneous comedy at it’s “finest” – Who’s Line is it Anyway sings top 3 Irish Drinking Songs:
Irish Toast: As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.
Irish Proverb: A friend’s eye is a good mirror.
There was an Old Man of Kilkenny,
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money,
In onions and honey,
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.
Irish Quote: “Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul’s yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart.”~~By Margaret Jackson
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Today I find myself in one of “those” moods. You know – when emotions are kind of prickly. People can easily say the wrong thing or with the wrong attitude. The weather is lovely but it’s so easy to be lazy and sluggish inside. TV is boring, books have no appeal, and … YIKES! Stop the madness and the merry-go-round of negativity!!! I need to turn the day around. It’s days just like today when I turn to this Bible verse for instruction:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things.” Phil 4:8
1) I am alive and my health is good.
2) My home is warm and comfortable.
3) My children are healthy, educated, and gainfully employed.
4) My job allows me to use my skills and passions and pays me well to do so.
5) My bills are paid and I have some money left over for things I enjoy.
6) I have a loving pet who keeps me company, no matter what my mood is.
7) My family and I have been spared from the devastation of the tornadoes that destroyed so much in my area recently.
8) I have precious friends who are kind, generous, and loyal.
9) There’s food in my pantry and clean clothes in my closet.
10) I have dreams and goals that keep me motivated.
11) I have a car, it works and has gas so I can pick up and go whenever I want.
12) I own lovely things that make my surroundings inviting.
13) I am loved by many, but most importantly, and unconditionally, by God.
With that baker’s dozen of blessings I can actually feel a shift in my mood. My life is good and I have much to be happy about. I spread the gratitude to you. Be thankful and be blessed!
At work, and on my FB author page, I love to share quotes. I like to find snippets of wisdom from all corners of the world and spread them around in the hopes that on that day, it is meaningful to others in the same way that it touched me. The quote I chose at work today is:
“Before you speak … T.H.I.N.K.
T ~ is it True?
H ~ is it Helpful?
I ~ is it Inspiring?
N ~ is it Necessary?
K ~ is it Kind?”
I learned a long time ago that just because you want to offer feedback or say something doesn’t make it the right thing, even in the workplace (or is that especially in the workplace?). Even if you’re the boss. If feedback isn’t timely or actionable it’s probably more destructive than it is anything else.
Sometimes we have to say the difficult things because we want to be in service of another person – truly giving them some information that may be a blind spot or may be unknown to them that they need to know to be successful. But many times, we say what’s on our mind without editing it for value. Here’s a few I’ve heard recently that, frankly, left the receiver more self-conscious and bewildered about what to do about it (especially when they were followed up with a laugh or “just kidding” – everyone knows they weren’t kidding.) It was equally uncomfortable to watch:
> “Wow, your accent makes me laugh because I can’t understand you.”
> “When you’re nervous you have a strange tick you do with your fingers and it’s annoying.”
> “Gosh, did you notice everyone snicker when you shared that one piece of data in the meeting today?”
Those are just a few. In the moment, the awkwardness hung in the air like a noxious gas. And of course, the person speaking followed up with a lame statement to cover up the error. And the receiver graciously said, “ok, thanks.” But the damage was done.
I’ve done it. I’m familiar with that embarrassing moment when I realize I just spoke without T.H.I.N.K.ing. And I’m sure, if I examine my life a little closer, I probably need more editing. I’m sure that’s why I noticed the quote today. In case it speaks to you as well … T.H.I.N.K. with me. And be blessed!
“When you are strong … you sparkle.”
I don’t know who said that quote but I know it makes me smile. It speaks of the truth. Our inner strength is electric and produces a lightness or shine. Indeed, a sparkle. Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, that is where the sparkle shows. Do you see the sparkle in eyes or the faces of these people here:
Let us look for the sparkles … and be blessed!
“Success is not about the end product. Success is not the measure of how much you do.
Success is about how much you love and give of yourself to help other people.
It is about how you connect and help everyone’s dreams and creations move forward.
True success is not an individual thing at all.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God (pp. 64)
Have you ever noticed how so many people who define success in a worldly way are so unhappy? They strive for money, things, possessions, and victories. They attain those things and look around and still find themselves lacking in fulfillment. Nothing seems to be enough. No achievement ends the quest for more, more, more. That kind of success feels hollow and solitary. It is fleeting in its enjoyment and temporary in its existence.
God has other ideas of how to define success. His message, as quoted above from my book, tells of the divine definition of success. Have you noticed when you put this aspect into action how much more fulfilling life is? Have you experienced the gift you give to yourself and your life when you have helped others attain their dreams? That success is permanent. It rings solid and true in our heart and spirit. It brings inspiration and drive to help more and more people to their fulfillment.
As I think of how our world is changing and economies crumble and jobs are lost, it makes me look at this quote differently. If we but reach across the worldly “game” of success to practice the divine essence of success we might all become successful. If we stop competing so hard and start cooperating, there is a chance for true success.
Something to think about. Be blessed!
“When you give to or do something for another person you set into motion the flow of giving in the world. Your impact multiplies and swirls in every direction because giving is not a static energy. Give, change the world, and be blessed!” ~ Barbara Bernard Miller
“Strive to be great at what you are good at instead of average at what you are bad at. In otherwords – use your true power and talents to the best of your ability and you can affect your life and the world. Be blessed!” ~ Barbara Bernard Miller